Cork City are back at Turners Cross looking to close the gap at the top of the table to Dundalk which currently stands at 2 points. Bottom club Bray Wanderers are the visitors on this occasion.
The champions have been excellent on home soil winning every game so far this season. Infact, going into the backend of last season they have won their last 10 home matches and unbelievably have only conceded 1 goal which was in their last match against Limerick. They haven’t quite been as prolific as last season but this is largely down to them losing Sean Maguire who is now flourishing at Preston. Graham Cummins was his replacement and he hasn’t disappointed with 7 league goals so far.
Cork will be without Johnny Dunleavy (0-0), Alan Bennett (5-0), Gearóid Morrisey (14-2), Steven Beattie (6-0).
Bray are rock bottom of the Premier Division and will likely get relegated. They have recently picked up 4 points in amongst all of their defeats (Annoyingly the 2 times i have backed against them) but they were both home matches and apart from somehow holding Dundalk to a 0-0 at Oriel Park the Wanderers have lost every away game this season. They’ve suffered some big losses such as 5-0 to St Patricks, 5-1 to Derry City and 6-0 to Shamrock Rovers.
Robin Haase is a smart player, mixes things up to cause confusion and playing solid defense. However, he is having a bad clay season so far with a 2-4 record. He lost first round matches against Norrie, Rublev and Basic. Against Medvedev he was trailing a set and a break in the second but Medvedev completely lost just like that and made UE after UE.
He will face poweful Shapovalov here who had a great run in Madrid, beating Sandgren, Raonic, Paire and Edmund. Great run till he faced red hot Zverev who won Madrid later on.
I think Shapo will overpower Haase here with his single handed backhand and his awesome angles that he can hit. I think he will make Haase run here.
Only thing that worries me always are the Double faults, risking too much with his second serve always and when Shapo obviously has one of those bad days where he hits all balls in the net.
AIK welcomes Ostersunds in round 9 of the Allsvenskan. The hosts are having a good season so far and are one of two undefeated teams. They are trailing Hammarby by 4 points but with a game at hand that should be 1 point again. Hammarby is playing some great football but not many see them as the league favorite. Aik on the other hand certainly is and with Malmo playing so badly this is a chance they musn`t miss. AIK finished second in the previous two seasons so they definitely have what it takes for a step more. The team has shown stabile defense so far and they conceded only 4 goals, all away from home. The results could be better away but at home are impecable. With 4-0-0 and 8:0 gd only Hammarby looks better. They beat Goteborg and Djugarden here and scored 2 goals against each team that visited. In their last match they took a point away @ Elfsborg which is something they can be happy with but it won`t do at home.
Zurich welcomes Basel in round 35 of the Super League. With 2 matches to play Zurich has to chase points for Europa League or win the Swiss cup against Young Boys. Both tasks will be hard to fulfill and they can only hope Basel will be not be so focused with nothing to play and after a big won over Young Boys in midweek. Zurich is the 4`th team with 45 points but St.Gallen also has 45 but in horrible form. Zurich is playing unconvincingly lately and picked up just 2 wins from the last 10 matches. The only result worth mentioning was 4:0 against St.Gallen at home while they drew with Sion 3:3 and Lausanne 1:1. At least the attacker Frej has found his scoring ability and netted in 5 in the last 3 matches.
Basel is in tremendous form but 3 months to late. Boys have resolves the championship a long time ago. Basel`s poor run of form in early spring has cost them and it seems they are trying to make amends. Basel just destroyed Young Boys in midweek with 5:1 and showed there is still quality in this team. Basel has been stellar lately punching in goals for effect. Their last 3 matches have all gone over 5.5 goals and I don`t see this stoping. They won 7 of the last 8 matches though have had more problems on the road where they were not so convincing.
This duel presents both teams in terrible form. For example Impact’s defensive numbers are arresting, they have given up two goals per game at home ~ 2.44 so far. If you concede as much than you can’t get points.
From the other side Philadelphia Union will wrap up their three-match road trip for Saturday’s Eastern Conference clash and yet again propably will show unacceptable performance. Yet enter this weekend with a record of 2-5-2 and eight points. If the match isn’t being played at Talen Energy Stadium, it’s safe to say the Union won’t take three points. On the road they are just super poor. In fact, they have failed to win 28 of their last 29 road games dating back to Aug. 24, 2016. For instance in Columbus, head coach chose to deploy a nearly identical starting lineup to the one that was embarrassed in Toronto. The result was no different. First XI on the field have looked lost both creatively and mentally.
If there were not enough I will display some more interesting stats from past match in a road. Can you imaging that Union were without completed passes or even attempted passes inside the Columbus box during the first half. Recorded first shot in around 80 minutes of the game.
It was disappointment for United as they lose 3-2 to Livingston in the first leg of the Semi Final playoff. Livingston came out on top in a five-goal thriller against Dundee United in the first leg of the Premiership play-off semi-final. Dundee United self-destructed at Tannadice as they threw away a lead. Now have to step up and reduce deficit from first leg.
Dundee United meanwhile have obligation to go on attack from the first minute if they want to reach the final. This is his second elimination game since they already eliminated Dunfermline, in which ties got 8 and 7 corners.
Those two have met two times in a row already, closing Championship stage and now fighting for Play-Offs, in both occasions line of 10 were crossed easily. Additionally United as a guest lost (2:0) in 14/10 that time got (3-9) Corners.
Promotion playoffs game Almere vs Roda.
Both these teams are realy bad when it comes to defending. Almere being the worst of the two, they have conceded so many goals in JupilerLeague. Also both teams find the net pretty easy. So i cant see this game being 1-1 or goalles.
Almere actually plays nice football if you consider their financial abilities. Pass and move, pass and move. This is realy hard to master cuz if a pass goes wrong, they are very vulnerable to counters. And this is exactly what Roda likes. Roda can be deadly in counter attacks as their flanks are speedy.
Home team has this “try to score as many goals as possible” philosiphy, cuz they cant rely on their defence. So i expect Almere to take the initiative and attack. This should give space for Roda to counter and they need 1 away goal. And i think Roda will score atleast once.
Kohlschreiber should be winning this match in two easy sets and I would be surprised if he dropped more than 6 games here against a Sugita who can’t really play on clay court and is totally out of form.
Kohlschreiber comes into this match after loosing in the final at Munich against favorite Zverev, despite a poor start to the season on hard court he’s finally found some form since switching to clay and playing against a Sugita who is on a 7 match loosing streak, I see just 1 outcome. Last year was Sugita’s best ever on the ATP tour and despite being a really weak player on clay court he got wins over some decent clay court players but this year he’s struggled to win even on his preferred surface and has a total of 5 wins in 19 matches.
This is typically a meeting with intense atmosphere between two rivals. Similar to Manchester United and Liverpool, these are the two most successful Swedish teams. You understand that there is a lot of title counting and comparisons, as well as the respective fan bases enjoying when the rival is struggling.
Recently, these meetings lost the spark since Malmo have become too dominant and Goteborg entering a rebuild due to poor finances. Nevertheless, this is a rivarly worth watching. Last time Malmo failed to win the league was 2015 when they finished on 5th place. They quickly got back to win it 2016 and 2017. It is therefore reasonable to believe that 2018 will be yet another successful year, but clearly not at the start.
Malmo have fantastic opportunities to become a real dominant in Swedish football due to their superior finances compared to their competitors. However, with two away losses in a row with excessive results such as 3-0 to Kalmar and 3-0 to Djurgarden, questions are rightfully being asked. Big money has been spent on players who are currently not performing or in some cases even getting playing time, which leads to heavy questioning of the upper management. The squad is under severe pressure to win the next few matches in convincing fashion.
The Sachsenderby in the 2nd Bundesliga between Aue and Dynamo Dresden continue the dramatic battle for survive in the competition. Erzgebirge Aue and Dynamo Dresden face each other in the Lößnitztal on Sunday, both in search of vital points and tricky position. It is the 90th Sachsenderby. In 33rd game day, two games before the end of the season.
I expect fight for life, corners well… according to last track of records do not look so great, however when there is no more calculation I expect an other something like 5-10 against any odds. Host despite of mix of results still take 9.69 per game. From opposite side, Dresden would get average 10.63.